Nutrition Response Testing: What it is and why I believe in it so deeply

"Nutrition Response Testing is a non-invasive system of analyzing the body in order to determine the underlying causes of ill health. When these are corrected through safe, natural, nutritional means, the body can repair itself in order to attain and maintain more optimum health."

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“What Is Nutrition Response Testing?” Ulan Nutritional Systems Home Page,

If you've been following my insta-stories the past week, you will see that I've been talking a lot about Nutrition Response Testing (which I will also refer to as NRT). This healing technique is something I believe in whole heartedly. I started going to a Chiropractor in Alaska 6 years ago, at the age of 23, after being in a battle with "mystery symptoms" and extreme anxiety for 2 years. This was the first time I had walked into a doctor's office and felt heard, understood, supported, and at ease. Having been to so many different specialists, doctors, and naturopaths at this point, it was such a relief to feel like I had finally found a space that didn't dismiss my "weird symptoms" or think that it was "all in my head". The Chiropractor I went to, Dr. Sternquist of Alaska Health Improvement Center, was not for chiropractic care (although I did end up using their chiropractic and massage therapy services as well). Instead it was for what is called "Nutrition Response Testing".  If you have never experienced or heard of this healing technique, then chances are it is going to sound very strange and possibly unbelievable to you. I get it. Upon first hearing of this technique, I was VERY skeptical but I was also so desperate to get to the bottom of why I felt so awful all the time and I was willing to try almost anything.

Up to this point (a few years ago) I had gotten a scope done on my stomach, heart monitor for two weeks, extensive thyroid testing, EKG's, multiple blood tests, and various doctor appointments that always left me with no real answers other than a written prescription to mask the symptoms. I never filled one of those dozens of written prescriptions I received because I knew deep down that that wasn't the way for me. This is not to put shame on anyone who takes prescription medication for any number of health reasons, as I do believe in some cases they are beneficial, but I just knew this wasn't the route for me and I didn't wan't to simply mask my symptoms. The only slight bit of relief I felt during this time period of 2 years was when I had an allergy panel done at my Naturopath's office who then told me I needed to stay away from gluten and dairy, among a few other foods. Once I cut way back on these foods, I started to notice a bit of a shift, but I still didn't feel well most of the time. 

This is where Nutrition Response Testing and the amazing, Dr. Sternquist, come in. Like I mentioned above, this was the very first time I felt like I was heard and had faith that this technique and team would help me get to the bottom of what was going on. To get started, I had to fill out a very lengthy questionnaire about all the symptoms I had been experiencing along with my health history.  This part of the process was really refreshing to me because there was a section that listed a wide range of symptoms (some unusual ones) and you had to score how often you experience them. It was so nice to actually see all of my symptoms listed on this page, like they were real and I wasn't the only one who experienced them. After this, I was hooked up to a small computer, with a strap wrapped around my chest, to check my "heart rate variability" which basically measured my physical fitness level. Some basic vitals were also taken at this time to measure things such as my blood pressure, which showed signs that I had adrenal issues. 

After the initial assessment is completed, it's time to get "muscle tested". This is the part where most people get skeptical because it's a completely different from of treatment than most have ever experienced. Again, I get it. But if you're willing to keep an open mind and an open heart, you might just find that this is the most personalized treatment you can get to heal your ailments. Since I'm not sure I can phrase what Nutrition Response Testing is as eloquently as I would like, I'll leave that part up to the professionals...

"The analysis is done through testing the body’s autonomic nervous system. Nutrition Response Testing analyzes different areas on the surface of the body that relate to the state of health and to the flow of energy in each and every organ and function of the body. This information is derived from the part of the nervous system whose job it is to regulate the functions of each and every organ. Interestingly, since the human anatomy has not changed significantly in thousands of years, the utilization of these organs / areas have become extremely useful in our practice because they are so accurate! Each area that gives a response represents a specific organ, tissue, or function, and indicates the effect that energy, or the lack of energy, is having on the body. By testing these organs / areas, we have a system of monitoring your body at each visit that has proven to be extremely accurate clinically, and that helps us identify exactly what the body needs and how well we are meeting that need. Instead of connecting electrodes to the areas being tested, as in an EKG, the Nutrition Response Testing practitioner contacts these areas with his/her own hand. With the other hand, he/she will test the muscle of your extended arm. If the organ/area being contacted is “active” the nervous system will respond by reducing energy to the extended arm, and the arm will weaken and drop. This drop signifies underlying stress or dysfunction, which can be affecting your health."

"Let’s say the liver or kidney areas are active. Then what? Our next step is to test specific, time-tested and proven, highest-possible quality nutritional formulas against those weak areas, to find which ones bring the organ/areas back to strength. Our decades of clinical experience tell us that when we have found the correct nutritional supplements, as indicated by this procedure, and have worked out a highly personalized nutritional supplement schedule, we have identified the most important first step in correcting the underlying deficiency or imbalance that caused the organ/area to be active in the first place. By following the program as precisely as possible, you are well on your way to restoring normal function and improving your health. It’s that simple! In medicine, the medical doctor makes a diagnosis and then uses drugs or surgery to attack or suppress the symptom, or to surgically remove the “offending” organ or malfunctioning part. In Nutrition Response Testing we use designed clinical nutrition to correct the cause of the problem, so that the body can regain the ability to correct itself."  Ulan Nutritional Systems Home Page,

To sum it up, the practitioner is able to see where you have imbalances and/or invaders in your body and is able to give you the specific, nutritional, whole food supplements your body needs in order to best get rid of the invader and/or bring that area of your body back into equilibrium. When you first start out, you will be seeing the practitioner once every week or two, depending on the state of your health. After your body starts to heal, function, and balance out, your office visits will become less frequent and the number of whole food supplements you have to take will lessen. Before you roll your eyes, take a moment to think about how intelligent our bodies are. This idea of our bodies being so intuitive and intelligent never quite struck me until I experienced this type of healing technique. I also didn't believe in this technique until I started to see my symptoms dissipate, one by one. Of course this took time, a change in my lifestyle, patience, and a whole lot of self care, but it's truly the only thing that made me feel like myself again. Of course the extremely personalized protocol that this healing technique provides is amazing, but what I also loved is that this method is all about educating the importance of eating a healthy diet. Dr. Sternquist gave me handouts and pamphlets on nutrition, how our food system works, the toxins that are in our beauty and household cleaning items, foods to avoid, how to read food labels/nutrition facts, along with more extensive information about Nutrition Response Testing. I was hooked. I can honestly say this is what instilled a passion for health and wellness in me and what made me ultimately decide to get certified as a health coach and finish my Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition. 

It has been a little over 3 years since I moved away from Alaska (again) and since the last time I've had Nutrition Response Testing done on me. Ever since coming back from my trip to Bali in mid February this year, I felt the pull to see a practitioner for Nutrition Response Testing again. Upon returning from Bali, my digestion was awful, I felt fatigued all the time and my skin broke out like crazy. Quick little side note- I had NEVER experienced break outs in high school or in my early 20's. It wasn't until I turned 26, and (coincidentally?) stopped going to a NRT practitioner that I had my first bout of bad skin. I will talk about this in a blog post in the coming weeks, along with before and after photos, but let me just tell you that bad skin is tough to deal with and I have absolutely NO doubt that it starts from within. Anyways, I had a gut feeling that my thyroid was acting up and that maybe I had contracted a virus of some sort, so I decided it was best to see a practitioner to get to the root of everything. Sure enough, I had a virus, fungus, AND a parasite (EW)! My gall bladder was sluggish and so was my thyroid, along with my adrenal glands. My new practitioner in Seattle, Josie Steuart, was able to pinpoint exactly what was wrong and give me a protocol specialized for me in order to rid my body of its' ailments. I have since been to two appointments and am already starting to feel a shift. My energy is better, my skin has cleared up, I sleep better, and I just have a better sense of overall wellbeing. 

I started to incorporate a lot of Anthony William's (from @medicalmedium on instagram) recipes and protocols from his books "Medical Medium" and "Thyroid Healing" after I got back from Bali and noticed changes almost immediately. Anthony William's protocols and recipes, along with NRT are what I believe to be some of the best healing methods out there. I'm excited to take this time to tune in to my body, practice lots of self care, eat healing foods, exercise in ways that make me feel good, and take my health to the next level. I've also been doing more hot yoga and infrared saunas to help my body detox the virus and parasite I picked up. I will definitely do a post on infrared saunas soon because I believe they are so beneficial in detoxing your body. 

Considering I'm a certified health coach and hold my degree in Nutrition, it's not always easy to admit when I don't feel my best, but I know there is strength in being vulnerable and sharing my journey. I hope this posts find anyone who is needing to hear this type of information and if you are feeling unwell, I hope you take the time to seek out a professional and invest in your health. As always, if you have any questions on Nutrition Response Testing or anything I mentioned above (or just anything in general!) please send me an e-mail : If you are looking for a Nutrition Response Testing practitioner in your area, the best way to do so is through this link here. I've created a 5 week program that has over 50 of my healthy (and tasty!) recipes along with a topic of the week ranging from self-care to healthy digestion. You can grab the program here and use the code "NRT25" for 25% off! I will also post the websites for additional information on Nutrition Response Testing and for Anthony William, the medical medium, below. Sending you all so much love and healing vibes!

xo, Ashley